Saturday, June 22, 2024

This chef is bringing authentic Mexican Nixtamal tortillas to Victoria


You may have seen MAiiZ Tortillas popping up all around Victoria recently.

We think they’ve been redefining locally what people understand a tortilla to be. The company, while only a few months old, is operating at breakneck speed at 10 Fan Tan Alley, with Chef Israel Alvarez Molina at the helm.

Chef Alvarez has a long history in kitchens including working as Chef de cuisine at the highly acclaimed restaurant Pujol in Mexico City—ranked the #1 restaurant in North America and #12 in the world last year—where he returned in January 2020 to redefine himself and to find inspiration from the best of the best.

Chef Alvarez creates his tortillas using Canadian corn from Armstrong, BC, through the traditional process of Nixtamalization: an Indigenous Mesoamerican technique of cooking corn, which takes roughly 20 hours to complete.

This process involves boiling dried corn kernels in an alkaline solution of pickling lime, then soaking, rinsing and grounding them to masa dough which is then used to make tortillas.

The Nixtamalization process not only transforms corn structurally but also nutritionally. MAiiZ Tortillas offer the exceptional earthy taste of roasted corn, with an elasticity, aroma and appearance that sets them apart from tortillas made with Masa Harina mixing powders.

Chef Alvarez’s goal with MAiiZ is to provide Canadians with access to the level of quality of Mexican food that can be found in Mexico.

“The aroma, texture, flavour and feeling of a fresh Nixtamal Tortilla doesn’t compare to anything else. It’s like freshly brewed coffee when you’ve had instant coffee all your life. This transformative experience is something that everyone deserves,” said Alvarez.

Through his passion for showcasing what he calls one of the best grains in the world and different types of corn grown in Mexico, Chef Alvarez has sourced a single origin Heritage Red Corn which is 100% traceable back to Basilio Patrocino’s farm located in Mixteca, Oaxaca.

This is the first limited-edition Single Origin Heirloom Tortillas MAiiZ will be producing as part of a series on diversity of corn so more people can experience the biodiversity of the grain that defines Mexico.

MAiiZ has a pre-order live on their website now to order the limited-edition tortillas.

They will also be available starting on Friday at the local retailers listed on this post:



  • Where: 10 Fan Tan Alley
  • Available at the following retailers beginning Friday:
    • Root Cellar
    • Fairway Markets (Gorge, Oak Bay & Quadra)
    • Pepper’s Foods
    • Michells Farm
    • Beauregard Café & Provisions
    • See full list here

The VicFoodGuys are Dallas Harwood and Mike Scharien. Two hometown guys eating food, one restaurant at a time.

Jump to:

Read more

Latest Stories